Alex Jones Ordered To Pay Sandy Hook Parents $45.2 Million in Damages
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings were a "hoax" to bring gun control.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $45.2 million in punitive damages for falsely claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a "hoax," a Texas jury ordered on Friday.
This verdict came just hours after the same jury awarded a couple whose child died at Sandy Hook shooting 4.1 million dollars in compensatory damages for the emotional stress caused by Jones with his falsehood and theories.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of the slain six-year-old Jesse Lewis, testified that followers of Jones harassed them and sent them death threats for years, claiming that they were lying about their son's death.
The lawsuits had been filed against Jones by families of some of the 20 schoolchildren and six adults killed in the shooting. In December 2012, a 20-year-old man named Adam Lanza had opened fire in one of the deadliest shootings in the United States.
Jones, who has been a vocal supporter of former US president Donald Trump, has amassed humungous following with his conspiracy theories over the years with his right-wing radio show and webcast called 'InfoWars.'
He had called the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax by the US government, which, according to him, had been staged using crisis actors to serve as an excuse for gun control.
Wesley Ball, attorney for the parents, implored the jury to take a strong stand against misinformation. Here are some of the important things the attorney said that stood out:
"You have the ability to send a message for everyone in this country and perhaps this world to hear."
"And that is stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies," he added.
"Stopping Alex Jones stops the root of his message and the root of his message is fear and hate."
(With inputs from NDTV and Reuters.)
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